Kelzang Wangchuk  | Samdrupjongkhar  

The Samdrupjongkhar dzongkhag court on February 4 sentenced two men to 25 years each in prison for murdering a 36-year-old man in Gomdar gewog.

The judgment states that defendant Ngagyel and accomplice Karma Dorji, both 45, have to pay a compensation of Nu 492,875 including the cost of conducting the funeral rites to the deceased’s wife within two months from the day the court rendered the judgement.

Ngagyel’s wife, who had affairs with the deceased, has to pay alimony of Nu 27,250 to the deceased’s wife within two months.

The murder incident occurred on May 19 last year at Bruimi in Gomdar gewog.

Ngagyel and his four friends were supposed to go to Dangkazor to feed salt to their cattle on that morning. He returned home after he saw the deceased, who is his nephew going to his house as he kept watching from a hilltop, which was about 700 metres to 800 metres from the house.

He had suspected his wife of having an affair with the deceased.

When he reached home, he found the door locked from the inside and learnt that the deceased and his wife were inside. He then called Karma Dorji and latched the door from outside.

Ngagyel’s wife opened the door and ran away when she saw her husband and Karma Dorji while the deceased latched the door from the inside. Ngagyel then climbed from the roof and entered the house where he saw the deceased trying to commit suicide. When Ngagyel pulled the rope, the deceased got unconscious. He then opened the door and called Karma Dorji and then strangled the deceased to death. “They hanged the deceased from the ceiling to make it appear as it was a suicide.”

According to the judgment rendered on February 4, although the prison term for Ngagyel was a minimum 15 years to maximum life prison, he was given 25 years imprisonment, as he had committed the crime under “mitigating circumstances” as per the section 23 (b) of the Penal Code of Bhutan 2004.

Section (b) states that the crime was committed while the defendant was under the affliction of extreme mental or emotional distress.

It stated that although Karma Dorji’s crime was minor as per the section 23 (f) of the Penal Code, he was given a 25 years imprisonment because the deceased died after he helped Ngagyel to strangle the deceased.